“The Reality of God’s Judgment”
February 28, 2016
Just about the only time people enjoy hearing about the judgment of God is when it is spoken against. The world mocks and hates the judgment of God because it cannot bear the thought of it being real. And many believers don’t like to talk or hear about the judgment of God because of concerns for loved ones who they believe will suffer under that judgment and because it makes them seem intolerant and ungracious. J. I. Packer was correct when he noted,
“…the subject of divine wrath has become taboo in modern society, and Christians by and large have accepted the taboo and conditioned themselves never to raise the matter.
“…[And yet] one of the most striking things about the Bible is the vigour with which both Testaments emphasize the reality and terror of God’s wrath.…
“The Bible labours the point that just as God is good to those who trust Him, so He is terrible to those who do not.” [Knowing God, 134-5.]
This is true of all people who do not trust Christ — unbelieving pagans who thoroughly reject God and His truth, against all the evidence of God’s creation (Rom. 1:18-20ff), and it is also true of “religious” people who appear to want God and who appear to be “righteous.” God’s judgment is against all those who reject Him and lean on their own righteousness for their standing before Him.
And yet as the apostle Paul speaks about the judgment of God to the Romans, he not only points out the reality of God’s judgment, but also the grace that is behind the judgment of God. Like a black velvet cloth that heightens the brilliance of a diamond, so the judgment of God serves as a fitting background to heighten and illuminate the dazzling grace of God. And that is the theme of the passage we are considering this morning. Here is the theme of the opening verses of Romans 2:
God is right in all His judgments against all sin and sinners.
In these verses we find three realities about God’s real judgment:
- God’s Judgment is Against Sinners (2:1)
- God’s judgment is right (v. 2a)
- God’s judgment is extensive (v. 2b)
- God’s judgment is inescapable (v. 3)
2. God’s Judgment is Real (2:2-3)
- God’s grace is offered to lead sinners to repentance
- God’s judgment is not in conflict with God’s grace
3. God’s Judgment Works with God’s Grace (2:4)
Download the rest of this sermon from Romans 2:1-4.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.